Anyone have useful strategies for finding a Nether Fortress in Minecraft's Nether?

I got into the nether and wandered around for quite a while, but didn't find anything. I'm not sure if there are giveaways (I was looking for large building-like things in the distance). I've got a map, and have explored a small, but not unreasonable part of it. Any idea how many fortresses a single map might contain?

  • if you need help with directions, there will be an "L" in one of the top left corners of netherrack. it always points north.
    – user31098
    Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 15:02
  • Possible duplicate of Minecraft 1.16 Nether Fortress Location/Generation
    – pppery
    Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 23:11
  • 1
    @pppery How is older post getting closed as duplicate of the newer post? I could understand if it was other way round. Or maybe I couldn't. Since after 1.16 mojang changed how nether fortress spawns, compared to pre 1.15, so asking for specifically after 1.16 and specifically 1.15 or older in another question looks valid and not duplicate for me.
    – Skye-AT
    Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 3:08
  • The assumed principle is that questions are timeless and should be kept up to date not reset every version. Following that principle these are clearly the same thing, and a duplicate closure, rather than pinckerman's somewhat hacky edit, is the correct way to point people where the correct information is. There are already 500 other questions closed as duplicates of questions newer than them.
    – pppery
    Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 3:21

3 Answers 3


[This only works for versions older than 1.16]

There are infinite nether fortresses in the nether. They spawn in rows every 200-400 blocks along the world's North/South axis.

Once you find the first one, just keep walking north or south from it to find another.

For Nether Fortress generation after 1.16 see here.

  • 3
    That is neat, but I am curious where you found that out?
    – Zoredache
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 0:39
  • 3
    Very handy for finding subsequent ones ... and I guess I should walk east/west (instead of walking north/south) when looking for the first? Hmm... how do I know which direction is which in the Nether?
    – P.T.
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 0:42
  • @P.T. You can use the coordinate system to know the direction (-Z is North, +Z is south I think, I can't comment for sure since I usually use a minimap). I would walk either east/west, or perhaps NE/SE/NW/SW. I haven't crunched the math on which direction finds you one sooner on average. Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 14:34
  • @Zoredache Load up a level.dat or seed in the AMIDST tool (biome mapper) and it'll display rough locations for the fortresses. The locations vary between worlds, but the pattern is the same. Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 14:36

In my experience, you just got to look around a lot. They are big and black, and generally the main levels reside at a Z value of ... 64? I forget the exact value. The other piece of this, is if you are significantly higher than that, you'll just miss them (unless you can look down through big gaps in the netherrack), if you are down at the lava level, and the fortress extends down to that level, the fortress looks like a big black blocks, and you have to build a ladder or tunnel up them to get to the interesting stuff.

I felt like I had to look forever to find my first one. Keep it up, and you'll find one pretty soon.

  • 1
    Thanks for the elevation hint, that will be useful for figuring out where to wander. Thanks for the encouragement, too. :)
    – P.T.
    Commented Jun 30, 2012 at 5:13

No one has mentioned how to find nether fortresses by using f3, so I will! (Modern version)

  • Press f3 + G
  • Press shift + f3. In the corner of your screen a pie chart should show up, and you will see a lot of numbers and names below it.
  • Click [4] for tick
  • Click [1] for level
  • Click [1] for entities
  • Click [3] for block entities
  • You will now see a green and purple piechart, if it has no blue, then there are no chest spawners where you are looking.
  • If no chest spawners, then press f3 + f to increase render distance by 1
  • Continue preasing until a blue portion pops up in the pie chart (spawners)
  • Set render distance to 2
  • Press f3
  • Press shift + f3
  • Set render distance to 1 less than spawner pop-up
  • Look in the NSEW directions to check if a blue portion shows up in the piechart
  • If a blue portion shows up in the piechart, then just travel in that direction and you will find yourself a nether fortress!

Video: How to find a nether fortress in Minecraft

This process is quite difficult so please tell me if I missed something or got something wrong

  • Not sure if the UI changed, but for me the pie chart is f3+1. Also for future people, I got stuck looking for a keycombo that'd affect the pie chart, since they can't be clicked - just press the number keys, and ignore the fact it also changes your weapon. I'm not sure how to enter a multi-digit keycode though. Commented Dec 22, 2023 at 15:25
  • If the chests method lead you to a bastion, try just watching the 'entities' list for blaze/wither skeletons. Entities don't seem to disappear from the list right away when you leave a chunk - reload the chart with f3+1 Commented Dec 22, 2023 at 15:29

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